Tiger can't escape the trivial pursuit
Published 28/02/2010 | 05:00
As Tiger Woods delivered his media apology last week with all the sincerity of a Communist apparatchik in the Stalin era confessing after many hours of torture that he had been an agent of Trotsky all along, I couldn't help thinking the enemy have finally got him.
For once in his life, Tiger was playing a game he's not equipped for, a game foisted upon him by the moral paragons of Reality TV world.
The hounding of Tiger has been attended by a notable glee and zeal on the part of those who inhabit the moronic inferno. Sports stars are a standing rebuke to the values of the trivial society because they are famous for actually being good at something. Hence the joy in seeing them cut down to size. And there is no bigger scalp than arguably the greatest, and most famous, sports star in the world.
Elsewhere in the entertainment world, the linkage between fame and merit has largely gone by the wayside.
Once, a pop star needed talent, individuality and charisma. Now all they need is a speech defect, a cancerous granny and the ability to sob during moving montages of last week's audition. There are even people, for example Paris Hilton, who are famous for no reason at all but being declared famous.
Sports stars are different because sport is different. There may be plenty of hype around but it can't make someone into a world-class athlete. The fact that your entire family may have been left homeless by a lightning strike which killed your beloved pet canary does not entitle you to a place on the England team or in the field for the US Open. This notion of merit is a difficult one for people who cannot understand that what Ashley Cole does is very difficult and requires years of dedication whereas what Cheryl Cole does could be approximated by any young one who's ever sung into a Bacardi Breezer bottle at closing time on Friday night.
They know that these days sport is just another part of the entertainment world but this anomaly, whereby it still requires real talent and application, troubles them.
Their idea of a genius is someone like Simon Cowell. The genius displayed by Tiger over the years is something they cannot fathom at all.
To be honest, they find actual sport a bit boring. Sleaze, revelation and confession, however, they can understand. These days Tiger is playing their game on their course. He'll never win this one.
Meanwhile, the grisly old bore and American sports writing 'legend' Dan Jenkins sticks the knife into Tiger in the manner you'd expect from a man whose novel Semi-Tough is rendered largely unreadable by its persistent hammering on about "niggers" and their unreliability, laziness and general inferiority to the type of Southern rednecks posited by Jenkins as the ideal form of human life.
Tom Watson got in on the act with an opportunistic snipe by claiming that Tiger, "has not carried the same stature as other great players like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the course." Kick him while he's down why don't you.
Poor Tiger, to be the prey of such vultures.